Cravins served in the Louisiana state legislature and as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
WASHINGTON (January 26, 2022) – The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at the George Washington University announced the appointment of Donald R. “Don” Cravins, Jr., as the school’s 2022 Anthony “Tony” Coelho Adjunct Professor. In addition to teaching a course in GSPM’s Legislative Affairs master’s program, Cravins will also play a key role in outreach efforts to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and assist GSPM in continuing to attract a diverse group of young professionals who are interested in making an impact in politics and communications.
“I am honored to have been selected for this opportunity,” Cravins said. “Since 1987, the Graduate School of Political Management has educated and developed some of the best political thought leaders working on Capitol Hill and in state and local governments. I look forward to assisting in the recruitment of diverse students to ensure the future of the political ecosystem mirrors the diversity of our great nation.”
Cravins has been a political mainstay in our nation’s capital and his home state of Louisiana for two decades. He was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives from St. Landry Parish in 2004, serving in that chamber until 2006, when he won a seat in the Louisiana Senate. He and his father, state Sen. Don Cravins, Sr., were the first father-son duo to serve in the Louisiana state legislature simultaneously. In 2009, Cravins left Baton Rouge for Washington, D.C., to serve as staff director and chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2013, Cravins began a two-year stint as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Since 2011, Cravins has also served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Army National Guard, first in Louisiana and then in the District of Columbia.
He began his involvement in the National Urban League in 2015 when he took on the role of senior vice president for policy and executive director of the organization’s Washington bureau. He moved to Charter Communications in 2019 to serve as the company’s vice president for policy and external affairs but returned to the League in 2021, where he is now its executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“I am overjoyed that Don has agreed to join GSPM as our Coelho Professor this year,” GSPM director Lara Brown said. “He has a wealth of expertise in politics and I am certain our students will appreciate his perspective on how they may best advance the issues and causes they care about. I am also eager to work with him to expand our outreach efforts and engage more young professionals from diverse communities with our school.”
As the Tony Coelho Adjunct Professor, Cravins will teach a course in the Legislative Affairs master’s program and act as a guest lecturer in other GSPM classes. He will also assume important outreach responsibilities for the school’s Paul O’Dwyer Endowed Lecture, scheduled to take place on March 22, and towards prospective students attending historically black colleges and universities. Cravins will also participate as a speaker in school events throughout the course of the year.
The Tony Coelho Adjunct Professorship Endowment is made possible by a generous donation from former Congressman Anthony Lee Coelho and seeks to support programs focused on the disciplines of lobbying, campaign management, issues management, corporate public affairs, polling and strategic research, legislation, governance, and political leadership.
"I'm pleased that GSPM is bringing on such an experienced political leader in this honorary adjunct role,” Coelho said. “I look forward to having an opportunity to engage with Don over this next year."
The Graduate School of Political Management at the George Washington University is the first and foremost school of applied politics, advocacy, and communications. For more information, visit gspm.gwu.edu. Connect with GSPM on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @GSPMgwu.